UNC vs. Mercer Postgame Notes
Sat Nov 23, 2019
UNC improves to 5-6 on the season, including 3-3 at Kenan Stadium. The Tar Heels finish the regular season next week at NC State at 7 p.m. Carolina scored a season-high 56 points and gained 537 yards, the third most this season.The 42 points scored in the first half were the most by UNC in a first half since scoring 49 against ODU in 2013.
• The seven points are the fewest points allowed by UNC since a 41-7 win over The Citadel in 2016.
• UNC rushed for 376 yards. It was the first time rushing for 300 plus yards since gaining 315 at Duke in 2018.
• Mack Brown improves to 74-53-1 as head coach at North Carolina and 249-128-1 all-time in 31 seasons.
• Freshman quarterback Sam Howell threw for three touchdown passes in just two quarters. Howell set the UNC single-season record with 32 touchdown passes, surpassing Mitch Trubisky’s 30 in 2016.
• Howell’s passing TD total is believed to be the most by a true freshman in FBS history, moving past Trevor Lawrence’s 30 for Clemson in 2018.
• Howell’s 32 touchdowns are the second most ever by an ACC freshman quarterback. Florida State’s Jamies Winston threw 40 touchdown passes in 2013 as a red-shirt freshman.
• Howell is tied with Danny Kanell (FSU, 1995) for the ninth most TD passes in ACC single-season history.
• Howell threw multiple touchdowns for the 11th straight game to begin his career. He is tied with Ohio State's Justin Fields for the longest active streak in FBS.
• This was the sixth game this season Howell passed for three or more touchdowns.
• Howell had a season-long 17-yard rush in the second quarter, topping his previous long of 15 yards against Appalachian State.
• Howell’s touchdown-interception ratio of plus 26 is the best in UNC history. He has thrown 32 TD passes and just six interceptions. Mitch Trubisky was plus 24 (30/6) in 2016.
• Senior Antonio Williams scored UNC’s first rushing touchdown since Georgia Tech on Oct. 5. It was Williams’ first rushing touchdown of the season and his sixth as a Tar Heel.
• Michael Carter scored a career-high three rushing touchdowns. He is the first Tar Heel to score three TDs on the ground since Javonte Williams against Western Carolina in 2018. Carter had a 45-yard TD in the first quarter, a nine-yard rush just before halftime and later scored on a 60-yard TD run in the third quarter, his longest rush at Carolina.
• Carter rushed for 159 yards, his first 100-yard of the season and the most since he gained 165 against Virginia Tech in 2018. Carter averaged 17.7 yards per carry.
• Freshman running back Josh Henderson played for the first time this season and gained 98 yards on 13 carries (7.5 per carry).
• Junior LB Chazz Surratt made five tackles, all in the first half, to reach the 100-tackle mark in his first season playing on the defensive side of the ball.
• WR Dyami Brown hauled in his 10th receiving TD of the season in the first quarter. He ranks second in the ACC in receiving touchdowns. The 10 TD catches rank third in UNC single-season history. He is tied with Quinshad Davis (2013). Hakeem Nicks (12 in 2008) and Dwight Jones (12 in 2011) and are the only two players ahead of Brown.
• Five Tar Heels scored for the first time this season. Antonio Williams (rushing TD), Jake Bargas (receiving TD), Emery Simmons (receiving TD), British Brooks (rushing TD) and Michael Rubino (two PATs) all scored for the first time in 2019.
• Carolina scored touchdowns on each of its first six possessions and six of seven in the first half.
• Carolina scored eight touchdowns overall, including four on drives that lasted less than one minute. That included touchdown drives of 24, 59, 7 and 9 seconds.
• Freshman linebacker Eugene Asante led the Tar Heels with eight tackles, his first tackles of the season.
• Carolina made nine tackles for losses, including sacks by DT Raymond Vohasek and DB Javon Terry, their first career sacks.
• UNC is 2-0 against Mercer. The only previous meeting was a 3-0 victory in Macon, Ga., in 1925. The Bears reinstated its program in 2013 after a 72-year hiatus when the program was dropped after the 1941 season.
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